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Fic: The 'Just Because' Gift [BBC Sherlock]

Title: The 'Just Because' Gift
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Rating: PG
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 710
Alternate Link: AO3
Author's Notes: Written for the watsons_woes JWP 2015 Prompt #14: Not So Cute. It's easy to be shmoopy when there are adorable baby animals involved. Try to create something shmoopy with a less-than-adorable and/or not-quite-a-baby animal. This prompt was tough! Schmoop has always been a challenge, and my first attempt didn't even involve Watson. But, here, I think I've pulled it off. Unbeta'd.
Summary: John was curious to see what Sherlock considered a romantic gift.

John arrived home to find Sherlock sitting in the kitchen staring at at their biggest glass jar that still had a lid, taking assiduous notes.

"New experiment?" John asked, opening the fridge and searching for something he could use to whip up a decent meal.

"A gift," Sherlock replied distractedly.

"From a client?" John tried to encourage their clients to display their undying gratitude with cash, but they still ended up with an assortment of bizarre thank-you gifts.

"No, from me. To you."

John decided to leave the sealed, unlabeled, opaque Tupperware container alone. "It's not my birthday or anything."

"No, but I noticed you were feeling rather nostalgic after Corporal Murray's visit. And according to my research, 'just because' gifts for one's partner are considered highly romantic," said Sherlock, sounding very pleased with himself.

John stood up and closed the fridge, curious to see what Sherlock considered a romantic gift. "Well that's thoughtful of you, Sherlock, getting me – is that a camel spider?"

"Yes," Sherlock confirmed cheerfully.

"Couldn't figure out how to gift-wrap a scorpion?"

Sherlock made a face. "The paperwork for importing poisonous species is far too time-consuming. But this is a very interesting creature, John, and we can both enjoy it. You can reminisce about your experiences in Afghanistan–"

"Is that what this is about?" John asked. "You're feeling left out because I wouldn't let you interrogate Murray?"

"You wouldn't even let me bug the sitting room," Sherlock complained. "And you never tell me anything about your time in the army. I only know what I've been able to deduce which, although significant, isn't enough. Come on, John," Sherlock cajoled, "I've bought you a gift, you can tell me at least one story, to help me understand what it was like for you over there."

John looked down at Sherlock, who had picked up the glass jar and was holding it out to him, the huge and ugly spider scrabbling around inside. He felt a surge of affection edged with irritation, emotions that he hadn't generally combined before meeting Sherlock, and was struck by an idea. Sherlock was fully dressed, including shoes, for once, so it could work. He took the jar, shuddering as the creature hurled itself at his hand, and walked towards their bedroom.

"There's this game we used to play in the barracks, sometimes even in the field hospital. I was the champion at it, best in the whole unit for three years running."

"What game?" Sherlock asked, following intrigued, as John reached the bedroom door.

John opened the bedroom door, threw the jar against the far wall, and slammed the door shut as he heard it smash. "Catch the Camel Spider," he answered with a grin, chuffed to have caught the detective by surprise.

Sherlock was right behind him, with bright eyes and a laugh showing in the corners of his mouth. He ducked his head down and John pressed a gentle kiss to his lips, delighted that Sherlock was finally comfortable doing this outside of the bedroom. Which, admittedly, was occupied by a camel spider at the moment.

"It might escape," Sherlock warned him breathlessly once he broke the kiss.

"Not so long as we leave the door closed. You sealed the bedroom up completely last month, so you could measure the spore count accurately for that fungus experiment."

"And you want me to …"

"Yeah, if you're up for it. It's a tricky game, especially for a novice, and the bites are quite painful. I won't mind if you need to ask for help."

"No, I can do it," Sherlock said, determined and eager to prove himself. He rolled his sleeves down and buttoned them. On his nod, John opened the door just long enough for Sherlock to slip in, and then slammed it behind him.

"Remember, they can run ten miles an hour," John yelled through the door. He spent a minute listening to the sound of moving furniture, bangs and low curses before heading upstairs to look through his old kit.

When finally, twelve minutes later, Sherlock called out, "John, if you could possibly…" John was ready.

He was wearing his combat boots and BDUs, which still fit, thank you very much. Armed with a broom, John opened the door and joined the hunt.


... or is it? Read the sequel, The Terrible True Tale of the Private's Privates.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2015 04:31 am (UTC)
Holy freakin' CRAP.

...Yeah, that's exactly the kind of game bored soldiers stationed in a place like that would invent - and the kind of game Sherlock could totally get behind.
Jul. 16th, 2015 04:40 am (UTC)
*grins* Yes they would.

Have you watched the British TV series 'Bluestone 42', by any chance? It's a dark comedy set around a bombs disposal team in Afghanistan. You might enjoy it.

Thank you for the comment!
Jul. 20th, 2015 05:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's definitely a not-so-cute animal, all right. A very cute story, though. :-)
Jul. 20th, 2015 10:38 pm (UTC)
Not cute AT ALL. Thanks, methyl!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )